Stupid Alcohol Law Number 284

Stupid1 I am committed to the notion that, beyond a point, government and the society it represents does more harm than good in trying to overcome the seeming innate stupidity that always infects a certain portion of the community.

It appears the United Kingdom is not with me on this one.

There is a move in the United kingdom to reduce the legal blood alcohol limit a driver may possess to .02 and many believe this is a precursor to making 0.00 the legal blood alcohol limit a driver may possess.  What does that mean?

"This level is seen as effectively banning any drinking
before driving because it allows only for levels of alcohol
that occur from a dose of cough medicine, a mouthful of
Communion wine or a bowlful of sherry trifle."

Actually, it means more than that.

• It means that folks perfectly capable of driving a car with great skill and competence will be arrested and their lives hugely disrupted with no evidence at all that their driving is impaired.

• It means that restaurants will have to lay off workers because fewer people will eat out for fear of being pulled over and arrested for having eaten a sherry trifle or having a half glass of wine.

• It means the their will be many more Britons lining up to make a living as taxi drivers.

• It means fewer people will have the pleasure of enjoying a glass of wine with their meal when they eat out at restaurants or go to a friends home for a meal.

• It means nothing to that percentage of society that are innately stupid (they'll still drink too much and drive their car into people and things.

Thankfully, this initiative is underway in the UK and not in the United States. I'm not going argue that as goes the UK goes the U.S. where alcohol policy is concerned. That would mark me as a buffoon. So, let's just be content to note that it appears that among the innately stupid in British Society, one finds policy makers. And in that respect, the UK is not so different from the U.S.

5 Responses

  1. RichardA - June 18, 2010

    First, based on the article you linked to, it seems extremely unlikely the BAC will get lowered to .02. At worst, it might get lowered to .05.
    Second, under current British law, a people with a BAC of .02 could still be arrested for drunk driving, if the police believed his driving was impaired by alcohol.
    Third, the police still need a reason to stop a driver and request they take a breathalyzer, and the driver does have the option to refuse the test.
    Fourth, there are numerous countries with BAC limits below .05, and as low as 0.0%. For example, these countries have a BAC limit of 0.0%: Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Bangladesh and Hungary. These countries have a BAC limit of .02%: China, Poland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Japan and Russia have a BAC limit of .03%.
    And much of Europe, including France and Italy, has a BAC limit of .05%. Do you have evidence that those countries have significant problems because of their low BAC limits?

  2. Dave Woods - June 29, 2010

    Just look to Arizona where impaired to the slightest degree gets the same treatment as a DUI. Impaired is determined by the officer and effectively the BAC level is .00%
    Instead of a ticket for not signaling a lane change, any admission to a drink or a BAC over .00% leaves you open to an impaired charge. Impaired to the slightest degree receives the same penalties as a regular DUI; license suspended, ignition interlock, 10 days in jail, fine and penalties – total $10,000 +.
    The effect – people don’t come to wine tastings, fewer people order wine with dinner, fewer people go out to dinner. The result – great wine lists are hard to find, less profitable restaurants, fewer non-franchise restaurant and fewer wine retalers.

  3. Nick Oakley - July 1, 2010

    We Brits are very sensitive you know…….. anyhow in Scandinavia there has been zero alcohol tolerance for drivers for at least 40 years. They organise themselves on a ‘duty driver’ basis. Bars and restaurants will give the duty driver free soft drinks allowing the others in the party to indulge as much as they like. Where there’s a will there’s a way!

  4. Thomas Hansen - July 23, 2010

    I am originally from Norway, and there we’ve got 0.2 as the limit, which basically means you can [maybe, gambling anyone…?] drink half a glass of wine before you’re done as a driver for the next 24 hours … 🙁
    Ridiculous laws if you ask me. US with 0.8 is more ‘sober’ if you ask me …

  5. home bar - October 30, 2010

    I want to learn all about wine law. carry on…..

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